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By James Cerche
13th May 2015

“At least we know it’s loud enough,” a punter informs his mate. The Corner Hotel has a reputation for high volume, high intensity shows and the sounds booming from behind the red curtain as the levels were set suggested Karnivool intended to further that reputation. On the road in commemorative support of their debut album ‘Themata’, released independently 10 years ago in February, The Vool brought their full force to the first of three sold out dates in Melbourne town. 

‘Themata’ has always been an important Australian record. It ranks among the very best in its field on an international level and stands as an example of the Perth’s viral creative scene. Taking some time away from the poppier Birds Of Tokyo, Ian Kenny joined his heavier bandmates for a spirited run through the 2005 classic, airing each track in chronological order to the delight of long-time fans and the casually curious.

‘Themata’ is pummelling experience. Early cuts ‘C.O.T.E’, ‘Shutter Speed’ and the title track showcase the band’s knack for marrying soaring hooks with bone rattling riffs. It’s hard not to get drawn into the fray, even on a Tuesday night. ‘Fear Of The Sky’ and ‘Roquefort’ manage to get the middle of the record feeling even heavier before ‘L1FEL1KE’ sees the band hit full stride. Kenny’s signature gestures are in fine form as the slender frontman jabs like a boxing rabbit to each drum knock and sludgy thud. Charismatic guitarist Drew Goddard addresses the audience frequently with great warmth, thanking us for welcoming the band since their first outing all those years ago. Each member has more than a few moments to shine throughout the set with the rarely seen instrumental ‘Scarabs’ emerging as a distinct highlight.

The record’s final track is more than a perfect segue. It appears on the original release as ‘Change (Part 1)’, resolved 4 years later on their follow-up effort, ‘Sound Awake’. Tonight we are treated to ‘Change’ in its entirety, and it’s breathtaking. From here the band smash their way through a tasteful collection of hits like ‘Simple Boy’ and ‘We Are’, then treating us with a “new one” before leaving us with a triumphant rendition of ‘New Day’.

Karnivool can always be counted on to put on a hell of a show and the chance to see them play smaller venues again is something to be seized. Whether you’re taking a trip down memory lane or discovering a modern classic for the first time, The Vool don’t disappoint.

BAND: Karnivool
MEMBERS: Ian Kenny
Drew Goddard
Jon Stockman
Mark Hosking
Steve Judd
FORMED: 1997
FROM: Perth
SOUND: Alternative/hard Rock
FACEBOOK: karnivool
TWITTER: @karnivool
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